Writing about work is Work as is trying to write with a big furry gray cat sitting on my lap. Writing is hard enough in any case. This fearful little animal clings to me like a Koloa bear but hides from anyone else who sets foot in our house. He’s been that way since I picked him from a littler of fur balls at a shelter five years ago. He’s scared of everyone and everything, except me. Perhaps I should relax and let him do the writing since he seems determined to type, instead of dumping him onto the carpet only to have him jump back up onto my lap.
Music is my inspiration when I write. I delve into a pile of old CD’S and pull out a few golden oldies while errant fragments of tunes keep thumping around in my head. “Tote that barge, lift that bale,” “I’ve been working on the railroad all the livelong day” “Working Nine to Five” as belted out by Dolly Parton in the movie by the same name is a winner. It was written at the beginning of women’s struggle to be liberated by going into the workplace if they wished, “What a way to make a living”, indeed. I remember when husbands, including my own, felt threatened by the very thought of their wives working. Working wives were construed by some men as a threat to their masculinity and were at the very least a communist. “Don’t I provide for you? What more do you want?” they asked, like cooking and cleaning and caring for babies wasn’t work enough.
Tennessee Ernie Ford was a favorite with my mom. Whenever Ernie appeared on TV with his million dollar smile and country ways, twanging away on his guitar and singing in a voice as deep as a well, “Sixteen Tons and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt”, my mother turned the volume up, blasting us through the walls. I would counter with “’Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It’s Off To Work We Go’” and pull a sock over my head in imitation of the Seven Dwarfs. Giving a whole new meaning to “put a sock on it.”
Any writer would love to take credit for this line. “When Saturday rolls around, I’m too tired for having fun.”
Bruce Springsteen’s “The Promised Land” is great, too. “I’ve done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day; But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold; Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode.”
Excuse me, my crazy cat is back in my lap and he insists on writing. hsssssssssssssg alkjjuythsssssssssssssss.
I put on a CD of I’ll Fly Away, the music that accompanies this web site. I also listen to Red River Valley and Shall We Gather at The River, all hymns that I heard growing up and that write about in Peeing On Hot Coals. La Boheme, is a favorite having been the first opera I heard after moving to San Francisco. Still I love the old hymns if not the sermons.
Okay, It’s time to assert my authority. “You ungrateful animal get down. I feed you and pet you and if you could really write I would gladly let you, you lazy good for nothing,” I say as he purrs and then speaks…
“Peeing On Hot Coals, wasn’t enough, Mom?”
What music inspires you?
Causes Pat Montandon Supports
PETA, Women for Women, Amnesty International, Children as the Peacemakers, Peace to The Planet